It’s Ogley, ay? The demolition of a local school: Please help with my confusion!

Some more pictures here for a Saturday of a bit of a mystery perhaps readers can help with: Exactly when the Ogley School at the top left of Church Road was demolished.

There’s a small but very interesting set from the ongoing exploration of the Gerald Reece collection from the demolition of this noted and well-loved school which seems to have taken place in the late 1980s: Of course, the other school opposite was demolished I think in the 90s where the new build housing is today.

The demolished school in the set below was on the left, behind the railings: The one razed later was on the right where the new houses are. I’ll confess I have no idea which is which and I invite reader contributions: I think the one on the left was the junior school.

I believe the one that remains now – in Great Charles Street, called St James Primary – was formerly the Ogley Girls Senior School. I could, of course, have all this wrong. Please feel free to clarify.

Images kindly supplied by Geraldd Reece and scanned by David Evans. Click for larger versions.

To make it clearer here’s a wonderful image taken in the snows of I think the early 80s looking down Church Road from St. James Church. It’s a great image posted on Facebook by David Tonks:

Image kindly supplied by David Tonks.

Now, one final image to jog the memory: I had this image in from reader Robert Sault a few weeks ago which he tells me is Ogley Juniors in the late 1960s. but looks like the school that still exists in the background. I’m confused.

Recognise anyone?

Image kindly supplied by Robert Sault.

I thank Gerald Reece, David Tonks, Robert Sault and David Evans for yet another remarkable set – you are a very wonderful and generous gentlemen.

The donor of the demolition images, Gerald Reece is of course a talented and superlative local historian, indeed now resident in Devon, who wrote the seminal work ‘Brownhills – A walk into history’ upon which this blog stands.

What do you recall from this gallery? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do share them – comment here, find me on social media or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.

Gerald and Cherry Reece: on whose shoulders all my work here stands. Image kindly supplied by David Evans.
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20 Responses to It’s Ogley, ay? The demolition of a local school: Please help with my confusion!

  1. mark brookes says:

    As far as i can remember, looking at the photo, the one on the left was the infants and the one on the right was the juniors, i remember mr Horton in the picture, he was the head of the junior school, i remember my mom having a full blown argument with him when i first attended there, because he described me as abnormal because i had a weak bladder and needed to go to the toilet a lot in lessons lol.

    • Angie Eldon says:

      You are correct the left hand building was the infants and the right was the juniors I attended both from 1967

  2. Rob says:

    In the first photograph, facing the St James’, the school on the left was the Juniors and the one opposite was the Infants. That’s the one where the May Queen photographs in previous blogs were taken (on the steps down the slope to the playground, which adjoined the former library).

  3. Rob says:

    I should add that the grounds of the Senior Girls and Junior schools shared a common boundary. So the photograph taken in the Junior School actually shows the Senior School in the background, on the other side of the fence.

  4. Isobel Dams says:

    The school in the background of the Junior school group photograph is Ogley Hay Senior Girls school. The playgrounds of the two schools backed on to one another as far as I remember.

  5. Reg Fullelove says:

    un the beging there were three schools on the right the infants head mistress mis seedhouse deputy miss parker opposite junior boys and girls head master of boys roland thompson other teachers mr oaks from lichfield rd and mr smith who was disabled senior girls was in great charles st miss hall head mistress then central boys on the bridge headmaster mr wright teachers dan marklew jo stockly bill hazard sam seedhouse upser pugh mr jones wood work happy school days the motto in the hall manners maketh man

  6. David Evans says:

    New £25,00 schools for Brownhills

    Well in hand before Economy Drive
    Up to date buildings

    New schools for the senior scholars of Brownhills have been built at Pelsall Road and Great Charles Street.
    It was fortunate that the County Council embarked upon the re-organisation of the local schools before the national demand for economy effectively disposed of so many schemes of a similar nature in other parts of the country.
    The total cost of the new schools is approximately £25,000 and they are exceedingly well equipped. They have been planned by Colonel Lowbridge, the county architect, and the decorative schemes are most delightful.
    The girls’ senior school has its main entrance in Great Charles Street, which someday will be an imposing thoroughfare.
    It has been built by Messrs R T Rix and Sons, Wood End, Shenstone, and provides accommodation for three hundred or three hundred and fifty girls.
    It is an imposing school, wonderfully light and airy, and has its own sports field in addition to extensive tarmac surface playgrounds.
    A feature here is the big assembly hall, unfortunately missing in most elementary schools. On the ground floor there are two big classrooms equipped for training girls in the domestic sciences. Big “Triplex” grates , gas ovens hygienic tables and white glazed sinks, with an array of white gleaming pots and pans, give provisi0o for lessons in cookery, and there is every facility for training girls in laundry work.
    Red Brick and Tiles

    On the first flor there are spacious art and science rooms, and there are the usual big and well-lighted classrooms and a special room for the school staff.
    Outer walls are of red brick and the roof is of red tiles, while there are covered verandahs of reinforced concrete to both floors constructed.
    The outstanding feature in this modern school planning is the particular care that is taken for the comfort of the scholars.
    The big cloakroom is the very opposite of the old idea of a narrow passageway , for the rows of metal hooks are divided by wire grids, and a system of heating pipes permits a currant of hot air to circulate so that no matter how wet the girls’ clothes have got on their way to school, their garments will be warm and dry when each session ends.
    The boys; senior schools includes the old central school at Brownhills, with new and extensive block that will provide altogether accommodation for 50 boys. It has been built by Mr F H Judd, of Streetly, and the new frontage is to Pelsall Road. From the upper windows scholars will have an extensive view beyond the railway to Barr Beacon.

    Lichfield Mercury, 26 August 1932

    • Ann Swindale says:

      It must have bee very hot in the Domestic Science Rooms. I remember my grandparents’ house had a Triplex grate – open fire with a small hob in front for boiling saucepans, and 2 ovens at the side, lower one at fire level for roasting and baking, upper one for slow cooking. My grandmother even cooked chips on the hob, the fat never really got hot enough so they were always a bit soggy, but I do wonder now has she managed it without the place going up in flames!

  7. Chris Ashmore says:

    Regarding the picture with snow on the ground the building on left was ogley infants run by headmistress Mrs Evans where we had the maypole dancing and on the right was ogley junior run by headmaster Horton which was demolished in the early seventies and we all moved into the school behind it the former girls school around 72-73

  8. the first musical festivals were held in the senior girls school

  9. Adrian Bickley says:

    Chris Ashmore is right. The original junior school remained open and in partial use for a while after the move to the former girl’s school was made, but it was demolished before I entered my final year at Ogley in 1973-1974. I remember this because the gable end wall of the old school had a climbing frame attached the uprights of which we used to use for goalposts when playing football. When that was gone we had to set up a couple of litter bins instead. The old junior school had no facility for serving hot lunches so in my first year there we would have lunch in the infant’s school hall. In my second year we were served in the hall of the senior girl’s school.

    • mark brookes says:

      I remember the cooked lunches in the infant’s school,i remember being a dinner monitor, i always struggled not to give myself more potatoes when serving lol, but i always dreaded going in because there was a certain smell as you walked in, and i had to fight the urge to throw up, it really was a struggle, and i used to dread walking in there.

      I was at the juniors from about 1966? i was also a milk monitor, that was my favorite bit because no one wanted the milk, and i was mad on the stuff, so i would take the nearly full crate back outside and drink as many as my stomach would allow me to, it was lovely, especially in the colder months when it had been nicely chilled, as long as the blue tits hadn’t got there first ha ha

      • Adrian Bickley says:

        You were probably a bit older than me then. I started at the infants school in 1968. Sometimes when it was cold there would be lumps of ice in the milk, but I always drank it. One of my friends, who was the milk monitor, slipped over and broke his arm. I was a dinner monitor as well, and once got in a fight over the last baked potato.

  10. Belinda says:

    Yes I know that Picture I have and i am in it. Some of the girls in the picture have been meeting up

  11. Elizabeth Hampton says:

    Reading about Ogley Hay Schools. I attended the Infants and Junior Schools and spent one year in the Senior school before moving on. I used to walk up Brickiln Street with my two brothers Tom and Joe – past the Doctor’s Surgery on the right and the Infant School was on the corner of Brickiln Street and Church Street. At this time the Junior School was two departments the ~Boys and Girls – and was on the right in Church Road and you walked down Church Road towards the Main High Street. I was born in 1938 so I suppose I started school in 1943 the Headmistress of the Infant School was if my memory serves me right – Miss Lane . The year I moved to the Junior School the two schools became one – Ogley Hay Junior Mixed School. I remember the playgrounds of the Junior and Senior School backing on to each other but to get to the Senior School we had to walk past the Cemetery through a long “Gulley”.
    May I say the name Tonks rings a bell with me as well.

  12. hi elizabeth happy memouries remember miss lanes deputy miss parker always war a gym slip and black pumps we called her nosey parker and taught the school band and games miss hall was head of the senior girls another teacher was miss horobin the junior boys head master was roland thompson harry wright was head master a central with danny marklew joe stocley billy hasard my late wife name was brenda hayward bless her thanks for the memory god bless

  13. Elizabeth Hampton says:

    Hi Reg as you say happy memories, I think they mean more now we are getting older (I speak for myself!!!!), My brothers all went to the Central School when Mr. Wright was Headmaster. and maybe my two elder brother possibly before Mr.Wright , Remember the Sports Day when all the schools used to compete against each other, Trouble is I cannot remember where they were held on the Chase somewhere, I think. Our Joe won the Victor Ludorum in 1958 and I still have his cup. Going back to the Junior School, we had sewing lessons in the final year and I know one year I made a winceyette nightdress (quite stylish) and the girls also had to make an apron and cap for when they had cooking lessons in the senior school.

  14. Reg Fullelove says:

    hi elizabeth you are right the sports day was held at chasetown where the swiming baths are now it was owned by the cannock chase colliery years gone bye the story i was told years ago it was suported by miners old one penny support donations oh how happy short trouser and if dad was in work gymn slip days

  15. Adrian Bickley says:

    Now I’ve had a closer look, I would like to add to the confusion, because I was having trouble tying the pictures in with my memory of the Junior school. Nothing quite looked right, and I’m fairly sure I could still draw a reasonably accurate plan of all three Ogley Hay schools I attended. Picture 004 I think shows the demolition of the old infants school. The nursery school that was lower down Brickiln Street, next to the library, is visible behind the portakabin on the right. The others, I can’t be sure about.

  16. Susan yates says:

    I went to ogley hall school for girls but 1963/64 but but cannot remember much I was in class c

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